Wild vs. Blackhawks NHL Betting Odds, Preview: Back Home Underdog
Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images. Pictured: Chicago Blackhawks captain Jonathan Toews
- The Wild continue their road trip with a game against the Blackhawks.
- Both these team are playing the second leg of a back-to-back, so fatigue will be something to monitor.
- Carol Schram previews the game and shares her best bet below.
Wild vs. Blackhawks Odds
|Over/Under||6.5 (+100 / -120)|
|Time||7 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM. Get up-to-the-minute NHL Odds here.|
A Central Division clash is on the slate on Sunday, as the 4-3-1 Chicago Blackhawks host the 3-4-1 Minnesota Wild at United Center.
Both teams are coming off road losses and taking part in the second half of a back-to-back. The Wild dropped a 2-1 decision to the Red Wings and the Blackhawks fell 4-3 in overtime to the Buffalo Sabres.
Here’s the latest on both teams, and your best bet for the game.
After bleeding goals while losing their first three games of the season, the Minnesota Wild are now back on track. Over their past five games, they’re 3-1-1 while scoring an average of three goals per game and giving up just 2.40. Special teams have been decent and the Wild are in the middle of the pack in terms of expected goals share at 5-on-5.
As expected, Mats Zuccarello and Kirill Kaprizov are carrying the load offensively, but most of their production has come with the man advantage. Rookie defenseman Calen Addison has proven adept at quarterbacking the power play, where he has picked up five of his seven assists. However, the Wild haven’t been able to muster much secondary scoring and only four other players have more than one goal this year.
In net, Filip Gustavsson took the loss in Detroit on Saturday. Expect Marc-Andre Fleury to get the start against his 2021-22 team in Chicago on Sunday.
Though the Blackhawks have been paring down their roster with an eye toward a low finish in the standings and a valuable top draft pick at the end of the year, rookie head coach Luke Richardson has his group playing hard and picking up points. It’s still early, but Chicago has exceeded expectations and is sitting in third in the Central after eight games — two points ahead of the Wild.
Credit 35-year-old netminder Alex Stalock, who had been away from the NHL since the 2020 bubble playoffs, for restarting his career. Signed by Chicago as a free agent over the summer, Stalock has three wins and a respectable .913 save percentage in five appearances. He’s also at 0.9 goals saved above expected and starting Sunday.
Beyond that, the Blackhawks are near the bottom of the league in expected goals share at 5-on-5, at 44.91%. They’re generating offense, averaging 3.50 goals per game, and their power play is solid. But as a team, Chicago is struggling defensively, including on the penalty kill. That could spell trouble against Kaprizov and Zuccarello.
As usual, Patrick Kane is leading Chicago’s offense and has eight points in eight games. Rangy center Jason Dickinson has also fit in well since being acquired in a trade with the Vancouver Canucks. He has six points.
Wild vs. Blackhawks Pick
The Wild and Blackhawks have both had up-and-down starts to their seasons. Their results have been relatively similar, so it’s a bit surprising to see the oddsmakers leaning so heavily in favor of Minnesota.
In addition to having home-ice advantage, Chicago has also had the easier recent schedule. Before their game in Buffalo on Saturday, the Blackhawks had already had a five-day break before playing four games on home ice. Meanwhile, the Wild have been on the road for more than a week. They’re touching down in the Windy City after having hit Boston, Montreal, Ottawa and Detroit over the past eight days.
That being said, the Blackhawks should be able to keep it close.
If you’re feeling conservative, you can grab Chicago on the +1.5 puck line at -155.
However, the Blackhawks look well positioned to snag their fifth win of the year and their +155 moneyline price is a solid value play.
Pick: Blackhawks Moneyline (+155) | Play to +120